Seeking and Finding Christ

800px-lucas_cranach_d-c384-_-_martin_luther2c_1528_28veste_coburg29_28cropped29Eternal God
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
grant us your grace
that we eagerly and thoroughly
study the Holy Scriptures
and seek and find Christ in them,
and through them have eternal life.
Help us in this,
dearest God,
in your grace.

Source:  Martin Luther, 1483-1546

Source of this version: Translated for A Collection of Prayers. German source: Gebetbuch, enthaltend die sämtlichen Gebete und Seufzer Martin Luther’s, ….Evangelischer Bücher-Verein, 1866, #33.

Ewiger Gott und Vater unsers Herrn Jesu Christi, verleihe uns deine Gnade, daß wir die heilige Schrift wohl und fleißig  studiren und Christum darin suchen und finden und durch ihn das ewige Leben haben. Das hilf uns, lieber Gott, mit Gnaden. Amen.

Canticle: Great Indeed Is the Mystery of Godliness (A Song of Christ’s Appearing)

The canticle Great Indeed Is the Mystery of Godliness (A Song of Christ’s Appearing) was used in the Roman Liturgy of the Hours in Evening Prayer on Transfiguration.

Great indeed is the mystery of godliness:
He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Source: The Holy Bible: English Standard Version, 1 Timothy 3:16



An Ascension Prayer (2)

Ascension_PaintingLord Jesus Christ,
Son of the most high,
you sit at the right hand of your Father,
and you rule as Lord over all
in heaven and on earth,
and you fill everything in every way.
Let us enjoy
the rule of your glorious majesty.
Send us your Holy Spirit.
Give us true servants of your Word,
and bless them with all spiritual gifts,
that they may hold to your pure Word,
defy Satan and all his tyranny,
and preserve your kingdom on earth by your power
until all your enemies lie under your feet,
and that we may finally overcome sin,
death and everything else,
and enjoy eternal life with you;
for you live and reign with the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one true God,
forever and ever.

Source: Die pommersche Kirchen-Ordnung und Agenda, p. 290. Translated for A Collection of Prayers.

Original in German:

Herr Jesu Christe, du Sohn des Allerhöchsten, der du zur rechten Hand deines Vaters bist ein gewaltiger Herr über Alles, was im Himmel und ans Erden ist, auch Alles erfüllest und allenthalben gegenwärtig regierest: wir bitten dich, du wollest uns solcher deiner herrlichen Majestät gnädiglich genießen lassen, deinen heiligen Geist uns senden, treue Diener deines Worts geben und sie mit allen geistlichen Gaben begnaden, bei deinem reinen Wort erhalten, dem Satan und allen Tyrannen wehre, dein Reich auf Erden gewaltig erhalten, bis daß alle deine Feinde zu deinen Füßen liegen, und wir auch durch dich die Sünde, den Tod und Alles überwinden und mit dir nach die sem Leben ewig bleiben mögen, der du mit dem Vater, und dem heiligen Geiste, u.

An Ascension Prayer (1)

Ascension_PaintingAlmighty God and Father,
grant that we may set our minds
on heavenly things,
and that we may be heavenly minded,
since we believe that your only Son,
our Savior Jesus Christ
has ascended into heaven
and that when he comes again,
he will take us to himself in heaven;
through our dear Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one true God,
forever and ever.

Source: Die pommersche Kirchen-Ordnung und Agenda, p. 290. Translated for A Collection of Prayers.

This prayer is based on Colossians 3:1-4

Original in German:

O Allmächtiger Gott Vater, wir bitten dich, verleihe uns, daß wir auch mit dem Gemüth im Himmel wohnen, und was himmlisch ist, suchen, und im Geist himmlisch gesinnet sein, wie wir glauben, daß dein eingeborner Sohn, unser Seligmacher Jesus Christus, gen Himmel aufgefahren ist, auf daß, wenn er wieder kommen wird, er uns zu sich hinauf nehme in den Himmel, durch denselbigen unsern lieben Herrn Jesum Christum, der in Einigkeit des heiligen Geistes mit dir lebet und regieret, wahrer Gott, immer und in Ewigkeit, Amen.

We Praise You, O God

This ancient hymn and confession of faith is known as the Te Deum Laudamus.

We praise thee, O God, we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting.
To thee all Angels cry aloud, the Heavens, and all the Powers therein.
To thee Cherubim and Seraphim, continually do cry,
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts;
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty, of thy glory.
The glorious company of the Apostles, praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets, praise thee.
The noble army of Martyrs, praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world, doth acknowledge thee;
The Father, of an infinite Majesty;
Thine honourable, true, and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost, the Comforter.
Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son, of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man, thou didst not abhor the Virgin’s womb.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death,
thou didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.
We believe that thou shalt come, to be our Judge.
We therefore pray thee, help thy servants,
whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.
Make them to be numbered with thy Saints, in glory everlasting.

[added later, mainly from Psalm verses:]
O Lord, save thy people, and bless thine heritage.
Govern them, and lift them up for ever.
Day by day, we magnify thee;
And we worship thy Name, ever world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us, as our trust is in thee.
O Lord, in thee have I trusted, let me never be confounded.

Source:  Nicetas, bishop of Remesiana; (4th century)

Source of this version: Book of Common Prayer

A text modified from the Book of Common Prayer, sung to Anglican chant:

A contemporary rendering of both text and musical setting:

Contemporary version of the text:

We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
all creation worships you,
the Father everlasting.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
the cherubim and seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all praise,
the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.
When you took our flesh to set us free
you humbly chose the Virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come to be our judge.
Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

[Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
Govern and uphold them now and always.

Day by day we bless you.
We praise your name for ever.

Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, show us your love and mercy,
for we have put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope:
let us never be put to shame.]

Source of this version: Praying Together / ICET

Original Latin:

Te Deum laudámus: te Dominum confitémur.
Te ætérnum Patrem omnis terra venerátur.
Tibi omnes Angeli; tibi cæli et univérsae potestátes.
Tibi Chérubim et Séraphim incessábili voce proclámant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dóminus Deus Sábaoth.
Pleni sunt cæli et terra majestátis glóriæ tuæ.
Te gloriósus Apostolórum chorus;
Te Prophetárum laudábilis númerus;
Te Mártyrum candidátus laudat exércitus.
Te per orbem terrárum sancta confitétur Ecclésia:
Patrem imménsæ majestátis;
Venerándum tuum verum et únicum Fílium;
Sanctum quoque Paráclitum Spíritum.
Tu Rex glóriæ, Christe.
Tu Patris sempitérnus es Fílius.
Tu ad liberándum susceptúrus hóminem, non horruísti Vírginis úterum.
Tu, devícto mortis acúleo,
aperuísti credéntibus regna cælórum.
Tu ad déxteram Dei sedes, in glória Patris.
Judex créderis esse ventúrus.
Te ergo quǽsumus, tuis fámulis súbveni,
quos pretióso sánguine redemísti.
Ætérna fac cum sanctis tuis in glória numerári.

Salvum fac pópulum tuum, Dómine, et bénedic hæreditáti tuæ.
Et rege eos, et extólle illos usque in ætérnum.
Per síngulos dies benedícimus te.
Et laudámus nomen tuum in sǽculum, et in sǽculum sǽculi.
Dignáre, Dómine, die isto sine peccáto nos custodíre.
Miserére nostri, Dómine, miserére nostri.
Fiat misericórdia tua, Dómine, super nos, quemádmodum sperávimus in te.
In te, Dómine, sperávi: non confúndar in ætérnum.

Gregorian chant with Latin text:

Prayer for Ascension Day

O Lord, King of glory,
when you fulfilled all that the prophets had spoken about you,
you ascended to your Father’s throne,
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
While you reign in heaven,
do not let us be weighed down by earthly things,
but keep our hearts looking upward
where our Redeemer has gone before;
through your mercy, O our God,
you are blessed,
and live and govern all things,
now and forever.

Source: Freely modified from Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881, p. 28 #3

“prophets had spoken about you” is a reference to Luke 24:25Acts 3:24

“opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers” is a reference to the Te Deum Laudamus

“do not let us be weighed down by earthly things, but keep our hearts looking up”  is a reference to Colossians 3:2


Confession and Forgiveness (2)

O almighty God, merciful Father, I, a poor, miserable sinner, confess to you all my sins and iniquities with which I have ever offended you and justly deserved your temporal and eternal punishment. But I am heartily sorry for them and sincerely repent of them, and I pray of your boundless mercy and for the sake of the holy, innocent, bitter sufferings and death of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to be gracious and merciful to me, a poor sinful being.

Upon this your confession, I, as a called and ordained servant of the Word, announce the grace of God to all of you, and in the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.


Source: Saxon Church Order of 1581, translation based on The Lutheran Hymnal, 1941

Original in German, from Leipziger Gesangbuch of 1767

O allmächtiger Gott! barmherziger Vater! ich armer elender sündiger Mensch bekenne dir alle meine Sünde und Missethat, damit ich dir jemals erzürnet, und deine Strafe zeitlich und ewiglich verdienet habe. Sie sind mir aber alle herzlich leid, und reuen mich sehr, und ich bitte dich durch deine grundlose Barmherzigkeit, und durch das heilige unschuldige bittere Leiden und Sterben deines lieben Sohnes, Jesu Christi, du wollest mir armen sündhaftigen Menschen gnädig und barmherzig sein. Amen.

Auf solch euer Bekenntniss verkündige ich euch allen, die ihr eure Sünden herzlich bereuet, an Jesum Christum gläubet und den guten ernstlichen Vorssatz habet durch Beystand Gottes des heiligen Geistes euer sündliches Leben forthin zu bessern, kraft meines Amts, als ein berufener und verordneter Diener des Worts, die Gnade Gottes, und vergebe euch an Statt und auf Befehl meines Herrn Jesu Christi, alle eure Sünde, im Namen Gottes des Vaters, + Gottes des Sohnes, + und Gottes des heiligen Geistes. + Amen.

The Absolution in the Leipziger Gesangbuch is longer, and reads thus:

Upon this your confession, I announce to all of you who sincerely repent of your sins, believe in Jesus Christ and earnestly promise with the help of God the Holy Spirit to amend your sinful life, as a called and ordained servant of the Word, I announce the grace of God to all of you, and in the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father + and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. + Amen.